breaking the cycle

As you know, if you’ve been following and reading my blog for a while, there wasn’t much laughter in my childhood. When you grow up the way I did, It’s easy to become damaged. It’s easy to grow into an adult with low self esteem, believing you are totally worthless. And, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to make your own children believe the same thing.

Yes, you heard me right. After all, how do you learn to parent? How do you know how to discipline your children, how to encourage them? If your parents brought you chicken noodle soup when you were sick, wouldn’t that be what you’d give your child if they were sick? Why? Because, we are trained to believe that the way our parents raise us is the right way. Even if their way makes us feel, well, less than loved; we still think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Have you ever heard the saying, “The abused becomes the abuser?” It sounds absurd, right? I can remember saying that I would never treat my kids the way I was treated when I was growing up. And unfortunately, I had picked up some pretty bad habits. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was even a fraction of the meanster (yes, that’s how I saw it) that I grew up with. But, I will admit that in my attempts to make my children understand the depths of their mistakes, I know I went a little too far. I can remember my husband saying to me, “Remember how you felt when your dad talked to you that way?” Stupid… that’s exactly how I would feel. And I remember the first time one of my kids told me that I made them feel stupid. And the first time wasn’t the last. Something had to change.

I had to break the cycle. And I did.

Now, I am not trying to make excuses. I am just saying that I didn’t know any better. I can assure you and I hope you know me well enough to believe that I am not the type of person that is mean because I enjoy it. There are truly some sick people who actually find pleasure in seeing others suffer. That is definitely not me. My kids know that I have always wanted what is best for them. I just went about it the wrong way… in the beginning.

I had to re-learn what a parent was supposed to be. I had to learn to accept constructive criticism from my husband. It wasn’t easy, I had to realize that it was okay for him to tell me when I was wrong because he was doing it for my good. He wasn’t putting me down for my shortcomings. He wasn’t trying to make me feel stupid. He was trying to help and thank God, it worked!

With my husband’s help, my children’s patience and with God given wisdom, I became a phenomenal mom. I am absolutely far from perfect, any one of my kids could attest to that, but they know that I want the best for them. I want them to be better than I ever was. Even after all the mistakes I have made, my kids will never have to question if they are loved. I believe that makes me a successful mom, if nothing more.

 

 

D*I*V*O*R*C*E

Once upon a time; long, long ago… lived a beautiful princess. And that’s about where the fairy tale ends.

I was married once before. I was nineteen years old, young and stupid. I actually thought I was in love. In truth, I believe I was more in love with the idea of being in love. We had a big wedding, four hundred or so guests. A reception that would have been fit for a king. It was a day long event that started with beauty appointments and brunch and ended with dancing the night away. There I was, in my beautifully long, flowing, white dress. All eyes were on me; I was lavished with attention and I just ate it up. I savored the sweet, flavorful taste, that lasted about twelve hours.

And then the party was over and real life set in.

for_better_or_for_worse_by_northgeorgiatattoos-d5u2ko8

I’m not going to go into great detail about the problems in my first marriage that ultimately led to my divorce. I will say that I tried to make it work, for four long years, I tried. I didn’t believe in divorce, until it became a reality.

I tried ‘playing the field,’ but that just wasn’t me. I wasn’t the dating type. I was the girlfriend type. So, for the next eleven years, I was in three long-term relationships. I just couldn’t seriously consider marriage again and the reason will probably surprise you. When I would think about getting married, my thoughts would always lead to a) if it doesn’t work out, there’s always divorce and b) it’s so easy to get divorced. There it is, the sad truth and it’s still sad today.

divorce

Our society has made it so easy to get divorced. From easyfastdivorce.com to one day divorce or separation by phone 1-877-***-****. Of course, when I got divorced almost twenty years ago, it was a little more difficult. It only cost $325.00 and took six months (only because that was the law of the state). The thought process being that if you waited six months, you might change your mind. It didn’t work on me. Now that waiting period is no longer mandatory. In my state, your divorce can be granted within twenty days after filing. Yep, that’s the problem with society today. Sin is so easily acceptable and therefore so readily available.

Whatever happened to ’til death do us part?’ I understand that, in certain circumstances, divorce is necessary. What I don’t understand is how people place such a small value on the vows that they make to each other. Look, I know I once broke my vows too. My only excuse is that I was young and I don’t think I truly understood what I was vowing to do, but I learned from that mistake. I didn’t get married again until I understood that it meant forever. Divorce is not an option for me. Unfortunately, there are those that feel it is an easy fix for their marriage. As soon as things get a little tough, it’s easier to run than to fight for the relationship.

Look, I don’t know the ins and outs of everyone’s marriage. All I’m saying is that I wish people would think before they get married and think twice before they consider divorce. When two people break up, they are not the only two people that their divorce affects.

divorce-effects-children

 

 

 

The Real Mom

I can still remember the conversation that we had almost five years ago. My oldest son had just turned eighteen and was preparing to start his career in the Army. We had just finished a three mile run together and were walking to cool down. I stopped him mid-stride and asked him if we could talk.

“I’m sorry,” I began, “if you thought I was too hard on you.”

He turned to me and said, “Mama, you don’t have to be sorry. I know you just wanted and still want what’s best for me.”

use this one heartWhen my kids were younger, I used to have this fear. I think at some point, all stepmothers have the same one. One day, one of the children that you love as your own will turn and look at you and shout, “You’re not my real mom!” Of course, you know it’s just out of anger and/or disappointment and they don’t really mean it. But, it doesn’t matter. The words prick at your heart like a thorny rose. And once said, they cannot be unheard and you cannot stop your heart from breaking.

 

It’s been nine and a half months since we’ve spoken. I tried to reach out to him, several times, but he will not respond. It hurts. You have no idea how much it hurts. I continue to pray for him, every day, I pray that he’s happy and healthy. He’s with his real mom now.  I hope she’s watching out for him… like I used to do.

 

 

 

 

search me: feelings

Yesterday was Christmas. Honestly, I cannot remember a worse Christmas since my childhood. Now, I know that yesterday was not about me, but I was definitely in a mood. Sorry to say that I was extremely selfish. My husband had to work, so my two youngest and I went to church. We had a wonderful service. During the invitation, I asked my daughter to go to the alter and pray over me. She is an amazing young lady and I’m so honored to be her mom. She’s such a smart girl. She knows that I’ve been struggling with a myriad of things. She asked God to help me with those struggles.

I often think that I’d like to take my husband, kids and myself and put us in this little bubble where nobody from the outside can affect us. In reality, I know that we need to touch others. If others cannot affect us, we cannot affect them and God’s purpose for saving us is that we serve Him and love others. If we were in my bubble, there’s no way we could do that. Instead, we have to let others in and that means, I need to learn how to handle the way they affect me and the ones I love.

Back to yesterday, after service, we came home and my oldest son was here waiting. Now, he hasn’t contacted us with the exception of one phone call, since he left on Halloween and went to live with his mother. During that phone call, we made plans to have him spend Christmas Eve with us. I had planned our usual traditions and was really looking forward to it. When I texted him to make sure he was still coming, he told me he made other plans with his mother’s ex-boyfriend’s new wife’s parents. Trust me, I know how strange that sounds. He said that they were supposed to spend Christmas day together (at least that’s what he said when I asked him to spend the day with us, which is why we decided we’d take Christmas Eve). Apparently, they changed the plans and instead of telling them that he had already made plans with us, he cancelled our plans. We had already made plans for Christmas day, but when we came home from church, he was here. Of course, I was still angry that he missed our Christmas Eve festivities and was not very happy to see him. I actually expected an apology from him and instead, he told me that he didn’t think he did anything wrong. I’m not proud of my reaction to that, I told him to leave. If I would have been the bigger person and just accepted the fact that he was there now, we could have enjoy spending the day together. This is where feelings get involved. I was angry and hurt and he was not sorry, that is what caused me to make the decision to not do the right thing. And this is with my son, someone who I love dearly, with all my heart. Can you imagine what it would be like with someone who’s just an acquaintance?

God commands us to love everyone, right? That includes acquaintances, strangers, friends and family. If it was hard for me to be the bigger person and do the right thing with my son, how hard would it be if it were someone that was not that big a part of my life? Funny thing is, it wasn’t much different.

What do you do when someone you believed was a friend, starts talking about you behind your back? I’ll tell you what I did. I first spent time trying to figure out what I had done to this person to make them so angry. I mean, they must be angry to treat me the way they have been, right? Look, I’ve been mean to people before. A prime example is the story I just told you about my son. I was mean because of how I was feeling, not that it’s an excuse or anything. I just can’t recall a time where I’ve mistreated someone for no reason. So, there must be a reason that this person is treating me the way they are. Snide comments, cryptic Facebook posts and saying negative things to mutual friends are just a few of the things that they are doing. How do I know the posts are about me? Well, they are usually made as a result of something I have commented or posted and/or it coincides with something they had already said to mutual friends. I am not ‘holier than thou’ enough to think I’m that important to this person that they would focus so much energy on me, however, the abundance of times my name leaves their lips tells me differently. Fortunately, our mutual friends are concerned enough to give me advice on how to handle the situation; handle it the Christian way. I need to go to this person and see if we can work it out. I know that this is what I’m supposed to do, but it’s so hard when you’re this hurt, angry and confused.

Again, Christmas Day 2016 started badly and ended up worse. How should you feel when you give a gift to someone and they say they hate it and will never use it? This one, I was actually able to do the right thing. I was hurt and angry, yet I ignored it and managed to make the best out of the rest of the evening. The rest of doing the right thing, is to let this person know how much they hurt me and forgive them. Is it okay to forgive without letting the person know what they did? My husband says no, he says that you have to let them know, it’s important.

So why is it so hard for me to do the right thing? Am I any better than these three people who hurt me? Obviously not. According to God, there is no hierarchy to sin. Sin is sin, one is no greater or worse than another. Man is the one that puts different levels of severity on sin. Man is the one that has to deal with feelings of anger, hurt, fear and hatred. We are the ones that have to realize that it is not how others make you feel, but how you react to those feelings that is important.

Ironically, in the midst of writing this, I received a Facebook message from a true friend. This message shared the following story and it really hit home, especially Rule # 5, I don’t want to expect less from people. I want to believe that people are good, however, I do want to expect more of myself. I want to be a better person:

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself

Friends and readers, I am asking for your prayers. Please pray that God gives me the wisdom to know the right thing to do, that He gives me the guidance to do those right things and that He strengthens me to do those right things in all of these situations. I pray that God forgives me for taking my eyes off of Him on His day. Thank you in advance and I pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas!

via Daily Prompt: Moody

search me: discovering the darkness

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

I am not perfect. I am human. I am a sinner. I need a savior.

God, our Father in Heaven, sent his only son to die for our sins. Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, lived a perfect life and was crucified for our sins. I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. He has paid the price for my sin and purchased a place for me in Heaven. I am a Christian. My relationship with God is a personal one. He is always with me and through Him, I can do all things.

Due to being human and imperfect, I make mistakes. There are times that Jesus’ light does not shine through me, due to my choices. Feelings tend to play a huge part in that. If someone hurts me, I may not always react the way that Jesus says I should. Same thing if someone makes me angry. I am not blaming others, it’s my choice to react the way that I do. I could be in a bad mood, due to no one else’s fault, and I may choose to not act appropriately. I am not making excuses, I am just stating the facts. Humans have a choice to accept Christ and follow His commandments or to reject Him. As I said, even those who accept Him make mistakes. We repent and ask for forgiveness. We are blessed by a merciful God who gives it.

And what of those who confess to accept Christ, but constantly makes conscious decisions to go against His commandments? What of those who see nothing wrong with their actions, therefore, do not ask for forgiveness? What of those who have such hatred in their hearts that they are cruel to those they do not like, rather than loving everyone as God commands us to do? What happens when you discover a brother or sister in Christ lets darkness replace the light in their life and heart?  Is this person truly saved?

It is not my place to say if someone is saved or not. That is between that person and God. But their actions and choices do say something about their testimony. I will say that I have been on the receiving end of such cruelty, such hatred and it does make me question the salvation of that person. I do not believe it’s wrong to question things like this, but I do believe that it is my job to pray for the person who has shown such ill will towards me. The Bible says, in Luke 6:27, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Easier said than done, right?

It’s human nature to question things, to try to figure them out. So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I’ve done to cause these feelings in another person. As I have previously said, I’ve made mistakes. Maybe I said something or did something when I was in a bad mood. Maybe I was hurt and took my feelings out on this person. I really don’t believe that’s the case, but maybe that’s just to ease my mind. Whatever the reason, I will continue to pray for this person. I will continue to pray that this person’s actions towards me does not harden my heart towards them.

God’s will is that no one should perish, but those who believe in Him should have everlasting life. As a Christian, my will is to see His will done. I want everyone to know how good God is. Everyone should know that He loves them and wants nothing but good for them.

This thing called the Christian Life is not easy, there are struggles we must go through. There are trials that we must learn from. God is with us through everything. He never leaves us. He gives us the strength to overcome all things. To spend eternity with God in Heaven makes the tribulations of this life worth living. To bring others to Christ so that they can also spend eternity with us and Him in Heaven is the ‘icing on the cake.’

No matter what kind of darkness you are facing, just remember that His light shines and no amount of darkness will ever overcome it.

via Daily Prompt: Discover

search me: misunderstandings

 

Misunderstandings are a part of life. Sometimes, it can be hilariously funny and other times, it can be absolutely maddening! When it’s funny, you can laugh and move on. When it’s more serious, it can cause a myriad of problems.

I remember the time my daughter misunderstood how to pronounce a word and the laugh I got out of my husband’s reaction. She was in third grade. She had been up at the dinner table doing her science homework, while I was cooking dinner. My husband was sitting on the couch watching television. I hear her voice, “Daddy?” My husband replies, “Yes Baby?”  Then the dreadful question… “How do you spell orgasm? He shot up from the couch so fast, I think it scared her. He started looking at me, then at her, and back at me. He had no idea what he was supposed to say or do. In one of my calmer, more patient moments, I pulled him out of his shock by asking our daughter, “Are you doing science homework?”  She replied, “Yes ma’am.” I asked her if she was sure that was the word she was trying to spell. “No, not orgasm, I meant orgism.”  We eventually figured out she was trying to spell organism. Well, I kind of knew from the beginning, but it was fun to watch my husband try to figure it out; and the relief on his face when he realized his innocent, little princess had no idea what an orgasm was! I laughed about that for weeks. I still laugh when I think about it now!

Unfortunately, like I said, not all misunderstandings are a funny matter; but they happen often. We are human and there are going to be times we make mistakes and we struggle with how to correct them. We can say or do something and another person can misinterpret the situation. People have personalities, they have attitudes, different moods; you get the point. Put a group of them together and anything can happen. Thoughts and opinions are thrown out among a few and people are offended. Next thing you know, the offended party goes to someone else in the group privately and shares their feelings. That person shares with another and so on. Next thing you know, things have snowballed into an unmanageable situation riddled with tension and hard feelings.

How do you stop that from happening? In Matthew 18:15, the Bible says, “If your brother sins against you; go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” The problem is, for one reason or another, we do not go directly to our brother; instead, we tend to share with others. And in most cases, that’s a disastrous mistake. Things get blown out of proportion, more feelings get hurt and before you know it, you have no idea how to stop the mounting problems that have developed.

I can honestly say that I’ve been guilty of this myself. Why not just go to the person you are having issues with? Communicate your feelings to the person that has upset you or hurt you. I’d have to say that, for a lot of people, it’s just plain fear. They fear hurting the person’s feelings. They fear rejection or retribution by the other person. Why can’t we get over that fear?

If you are on the listening end of things, say someone comes to you and tells you that someone else upset them, try to encourage them to go directly to that person. Let them know that it can prevent mounting problems if they just settle it privately. You can be a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, but in the long run, you cannot solve their problems for them.

As a listener, it’s also important to remember the difference between gossip and concern. Gossip is a casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. Discussing someone’s issues out of concern is basically trying to find ways to help them with a particular situation. If you know someone is gossiping, you can shut them down through several methods. You could suggest that you are concerned and want to speak directly to the person being talked about. You could advise the person gossiping to talk to the other person. This will help prevent more ill intent.

It’s easy to get caught up in drama and hard to remove yourself from the situation. It makes it easier if you keep your eyes on God. Ask yourself, what would Jesus do? God loves us and wants good things for us. He wants good things for us, even when we don’t deserve it. He commands us to love everyone the way that Jesus loves us. Although that can often be difficult, it’s something we all should strive for. I know I’m planning to try harder!

via Daily Prompt: Maddening

search me: count it all joy

Saying goodbye to 2016, I’ve had a lot of thoughts. This year was full of great things, terrible things, unexpected things and things that make you go hmmm. Let’s recap, shall we?

At the end of 2015, I was looking forward to a great new year. It didn’t start off that way. I got a terrible sinus infection after Christmas and it lasted well into the second week of January. But, once I was over that, I was ready to get the new year going.

My daughter graduated high school in June. She started college in August; this meant she’d have to move into the dorm. This was a requirement for all freshmen, even if we only live twenty minutes from campus.

My youngest son got his license and his first job this year. Considering his grades are pretty good, he’s also been given quite a bit of freedom. He spends a lot of time with his friends, but also enjoys hanging at home with his family.

My oldest son came home from his Army duty station in Germany.

My husband and I stepped down as youth leaders at our church.

Finally, I worked up the nerve to tell my family exactly how I feel about… well, everything.

These are some of what I would call highlights and lowlights of my 2016 year. Although some of the low points were pretty low, I still count it all joy. I think I’m able to do that because I know that God has a plan. Even if His plan includes what I would consider negative things, there is a purpose for it.

My daughter moved out and I missed her terribly (yes, she was only twenty minutes away) because I was used to seeing her every day. She came home quite a bit, but when she wasn’t around, I learned to make time for myself. The time that I would usually spend with her, whether we were just talking or watching our favorite TV show, I now spent on writing or praying or just thinking.

My youngest son got his license and I worried. I worried so much that I would make him text me as soon as he got to school, when he was leaving, when he got home. That started in March. What did I learn? I learned to trust in God. I strengthened my faith by praying. I spent more time in His Word and learning about how He was in control. I learned to worry less and trust Him more.

My oldest son came home from Germany. To me, this was the biggest ‘lowlight’ of the year. He had always struggled with being responsible, being an adult and making logical decisions; one of the reasons he got out of the army in the first place. It was a big adjustment when he came home. It was as if the last three years hadn’t happened, nothing had changed. He only lasted two months with us before he moved in with his biological mother. Now, I honestly have no idea what’s going on in his life. This wasn’t just another lesson in worry. I’ve learned patience. I believe that there is nothing I can do to ‘fix’ him or his life. God will do that, in His own time.

I told my family how I felt about my childhood. I told them about the misery I endured. I told them about things I had never talked about before. My lesson here is forgiveness. Once I let it all out, I was able to forgive. I, by no means forgot about anything and they definitely didn’t ask for forgiveness, but I had to give it. Now, I am at peace with the way things are. I don’t have a relationship with them and that’s ok. It’s hard to forgive someone for something when they continue to do the same things they should be sorry for, but I did it. I just cannot have them in my life and I’m ok with that.

My husband and I have been the interim youth pastor and leader at our church for the last year and seven months. We learned a lot, but we felt it was time to step down. I feel God is ready to use me in other areas of our church. I am looking forward to the way God is going to move in our church in 2017.

It’s important to learn from the bad and appreciate the good things that happen in your life. Treasure the ones closest to you. Reach out to the ones not so close. Share the love of Christ. Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking. Find your peace in knowing you are a good person and that God loves you.

I am looking forward to 2017 – with God, all things are possible!

via Daily Prompt: Treasure

search me: faded memories

“Scars are just another kind of memory.” – M. L. Stedman

Technology is wonderful, I think most of us would agree. In 2009, I ran into an old friend that I went to high school with. She talked me into joining Facebook. “It’s a great way to catch up with friends,” she said. “All of our old friends are on there.” Since then, I’ve connected with a lot of freinds from my past. We reminisce about the way things were and things we did years ago. Weird thing is, I don’t remember half of the things they tell me about.

When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my cousins. This was back when we still had family gatherings, back when my grandmother was still alive. I remember some things, good and bad, about our time together. But even when they tell me stories now, I don’t remember half of those things either. I can even look at a picture and not recall the event in which it was taken. It just feels so strange!

I have heard about repressed memories. You know, those memories that are unconciously blocked because they’re associated with some sort of trauma or stress. I really don’t know if that’s what it is, all I know is I truly do not remember much about my childhood. The memories that I do have, well, there are some that are bad and some that are happy. And those memories, they are as vivid in my mind as if the events happened yesterday.

I may never know exactly why I don’t remember what I can’t and why I can remember what I do, but there has to be a reason for it. Maybe it is my way of protecting myself. I have heard it said that “One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.”

via Daily Prompt: Faded

search me: seeking acceptance

Does a person’s culture affect or influence the way they display affection or emotions? I know that sounds like a strange question, but I’m curious to know what you think.

Allow me to elaborate. There are some who say that men shouldn’t cry because it shows weakness. Why are men not allowed to show affection and emotion? Who came up with that standard of measuring manliness? Let’s look at this another way; I promise I have a point. I should probably just throw it out there…

When I was growing up, in my family, I spent a lot of time trying to gain acceptance from my father. I was an over achiever, perfectionist and… an emotional basketcase. It seemed like no matter what I did, it wasn’t good enough. He never saw anything good in me. At least, if he did, he never told me about it. I can only remember him saying ‘I’m proud of you’ to me one time in my life. I was thirty two years old. My dad wasn’t affectionate either. I honestly think I blocked out a lot of memories, but I definitely remember a lot of awkward hugs as a kid. As an adult, I remember one-sided hugs. I would put my arms around him and he would just stand there. It sounds strange, I know, it felt worse than strange. Saying ‘I love you’ was even harder for him. I don’t remember hearing that much at all.

My mom was a completely different story. She was extremely affectionate and she wore her emotions on her sleeve. That has to be where I get it from. We were close, always.

My parents come from two different cultures. So, I often wonder, does that have anything to do with their differences regarding the affection or lack there of that they showed me. I tend to think it’s a possibility because I remember the way their parents were. Actually, I only remember my two grandmothers. My paternal grandmother had a hard time being affectionate and my maternal grandmother was the opposite. Are the traits of our parents’ cultures passed on to us? If so and we are raised by parents of different cultures, which traits are dominant? Why did I become an affectionate and emotional person like my mother instead of a cold and unemotional person like my father?

Here’s that honesty thing again… I pose these questions because I still struggle with the fact that I have never and probably will never be good enough for my father. Because this fact hurts so much, I have always distanced myself from him. I have only engaged in contact with him when absolutely necessary. You know, holidays, birthdays, etc. I have only spent time with him two or three times a year for as long as I can remember. A few months ago, we had a disagreement. Since then, I have completely cut off communication with him, along with some other members of my family. I try to pretend that I’m ok with it, but… I guess I’m not. I’m still angry and extremely hurt. And I’m wondering where to go from here…

I’ve discussed this situation with some of my closest friends. They’ve given me some pretty good advice and convinced me to follow it. My idea was to pretend like my dad didn’t exist. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But what does this solve? I had decided to love him from afar. I’ve forgiven him, but that doesn’t mean I have to allow him to be a part of my life. Not that he’d even want to be, but…

My friends made some good points and that’s why I’ve decided to take their advice. I will reach out to my dad. I will show him love, the same love that my Father in Heaven shows me, even when I do not deserve it. However, I am not completely ready to let my guard down. I am not sure I’ll ever be able to open myself up to that kind of pain again, but he will know I love him. I just cannot allow him to be in my life just yet. It’s possible I may never be ready for that, but at least he will see that I do have love for him.

My dad is always in my prayers. I also pray that God changes my heart towards my dad. I pray that He helps me get over the hurt and pain so that, maybe one day, we can have a relationship again.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

via Daily Prompt: Culture

search me: godly friends

Let’s face it, none of us like to be told we are doing something wrong and unfortunately, we are constantly doing things wrong. Sometimes it’s intentional; other times not. But, we are human and we do make mistakes.

Thank God for friends that love us in spite of those mistakes. I’m blessed to have friends that love me with such vigor that they will tell me the truth when I need to hear it.

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you’ll know that I am struggling with a variety of things. The majority of my struggles are with family members. There are those who have hurt me and I would like to say that I have forgiven them. As a Christian, that’s very important to me. I want to handle every situation as Christ would.  But it’s hard, He was perfect and I am far from it. Fortunately, I have Godly friends that will tell me when I am not doing as God would have me do.

These friends, I consider family more than some blood relatives. I trust them to guide me toward the right path when I tend to stray from it. I know that they will not steer me wrong, I trust them because they are Godly friends. Their constructive criticism is free flowing because they want what’s best for me. There are times I don’t want to hear it, but, what’s that saying?  The truth hurts…  My friends tell me the truth because they care about me, not just my life on earth, but my eternal life.

None of us are perfect. We will have issues in life and face many difficulties. There will be problems that come about, that we don’t have the answers to. Who do you turn to for guidance?  Life is much easier when you have Godly people that want to help you during these times. I, for one, am extremely appreciative to have such friends in my life. I pray that they know I will be here for them, in the same capacity, should they ever need me.

via Daily Prompt: Vigor